Answering how smoking and healthy vision relate + FAQs! (2023)

Well, smoking and healthy vision are inversely proportional. The more you smoke the lesser your chances of having a healthy vision. Smoking can even lead to blindness which is a threat to every smoker in the world. That’s what makes them ask so many questions about smoking and vision. In this article, we unravel how smoking affects your eyes and answer the most frequently asked questions in brief.

How does smoking cause vision problems?

Ever wondered why does smoke hurt your eyes? Maybe it’s just a sign to warn you about the many more severe vision problems that it can lead to. To understand these issues, you must know some facts.

Humans are able to see things because of the retina at the back of our eye. Now, macula, the central part of this retina is a small part covering 5%. This region plays a crucial role in what we see when driving, reading, doing paperwork, looking into digital devices etc. The rest part of the retina forms the peripheral vision.

Most vision problems, especially the ones that can eventually cause blindness, happen because of the damage on the macula. When you smoke, you increase the damage. But how?

The macular pigments that keep our photoreceptors healthy keep getting destroyed because of ageing, blue light, and ultraviolet light that cannot be entirely prevented. But, smoking accelerates this damage and creates more significant problems.

You must also know that there are 6-8 key nutrients that the macula needs to stay healthy and keep your vision sound. Smoking impairs the absorption of most of these nutrients. Thus, taking you closer to blindness.

Smoking enhances the amount of carboxyhemoglobin in the body. This increase creates a lack of oxygen, also known as hypoxia, for the macula. With no oxygen to power it up, how do you think the macula can help you see? The resulting disease is macular degeneration which is a principal cause of blindness all over the world.

Also note, that smoking increases your chances of getting diabetic by 40%. Which means you are more prone to diabetic retinopathy.

Retinopathy is a complication of diabetes where the blood vessels in the retina get affected. The blood vessels break down and leak into the eye. The resulting fluid gets collected and causes eye pressure. This pressure can eventually stop the supply of oxygen to the retina. Thus, causing vision loss. If you remember, smoking also causes a lack of oxygen supply to the retina. Together they speed up the process of vision loss, making you blind much earlier in life.

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Similarly, smoking can double the risk of you having cataracts or glaucoma.

Other Frequently Asked Questions about Smoking and Healthy Vision

Can smoking cause blurred vision?

Smoking and blurred vision are directly related. The more you smoke, the more your chances of blurred vision. The habit of smoking does it by becoming a cause of sight-threatening diseases. For example, macular degeneration and retinopathy, that we just talked about.

Answering how smoking and healthy vision relate + FAQs! (1)

The reason is that smokers can’t get enough oxygen to their retina and they also experience more damage to the eye cells than the average person. Thus, smoking tobacco products can damage your eyes' retina ability to contract and expand, causing a hazy vision. In fact, blurred vision is the first and the most significant signs of these diseases. And you know you have overdone it when you experience blurry vision after smoking a cigarette instantly.

Can smoke cause dry eyes?

Ever felt something like that a dirt particle or an eyelash has entered your eyes, causing irritation and itching only to find out there was nothing? That is a hint to dry eye syndrome. The syndrome happens when your eyes aren’t lubricated enough due to lack of enough tears on the eyes surface. Doctors call the feeling a 'foreign body' sensation.

Answering how smoking and healthy vision relate + FAQs! (2)

So, how does smoking bring dry eyes into being? It doesn’t. Smoke can’t cause dry eyes. But it can certainly cause irritation and make your dry eye syndrome worse to handle. Research suggests that smokers can almost double their chances of getting dry eyes due to the one bad habit.

But, you don’t have to worry about something as terrible as blindness happening from dry eye syndrome. Yet, there are other small but uncomfortable problems you would like to avoid. These problems are actually symptoms, so be aware of them so that you know if the irritation you feel is leading to dry eye syndrome or not.

The signs are redness, pain, fatigue, itchiness, blurry vision, difficulty using your eyes, and sensitivity to bright light. Another annoying symptom is having a sensation that sand has entered your eyes - a gritty feeling.

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Can smoke cause eye infections?

Yes. Smoke is one of the primary reasons that can increase your chances of developing an infection called Uveitis. Research suggests this increase is almost 2.2 times. And thus, it's crucial to take care considering that Uveitis can lead to blindness.

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But what is Uveitis? It is an inflammation in the middle layer of your eye. The layer is also known as the uvea. It consists of the most vital structures - the iris, choroid and ciliary body. It is these structures that are responsible for the nutrition supply through the blood to the retina.

There are chances that this swelling in the uvea can lead to cataracts or glaucoma eventually. So, be on a lookout for other symptoms so that doctors can diagnose and treat it early. The other signs include blurred vision, black eye floaters, redness, pain and sensitivity to light.

If you feel the need for temporary relief at home, eye drops can prove to be useful.

Can smoke cause pink eyes?

Yes, that’s another name of conjunctivitis. And smoking can unquestionably lead to it. The type of conjunctivitis is allergic, and the major causes are allergens. While there can be many kinds of allergens like perfumes and chemicals like chlorine, smoke is the most common one. And why not? Over 7 million people in the UK smoke which also passively affects others. Some folks also experience dizziness and unfocused vision when people are smoking around.

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A study done on children revealed that their chances of developing allergic pink eyes boosted by 20% only because of the passive smoke. That raises the alarm for all adults, especially smokers. If not treated early, allergic conjunctivitis may lead to blindness. Yet, there’s not much to worry though as Pink eyes are not difficult to treat.

But, the best solution is to stay away from smoke and quit it if you do yourself.

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Does smoking increase eye pressure?

Eye pressure or intraocular pressure is the root cause of many issues like glaucoma. A study done on 3654 people in Sydney, including both smokers and nonsmokers, has shown that smokers have a slightly higher intraocular pressure than non-smokers.

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Another study confirmed this. It revealed that the pressure right after smoking was way higher than the pressure measured after a gap of about 12 hours of non-smoking in smokers. This result means smoking can cause an incredible increase in eye pressure. Thus, leading you to glaucoma and eventually blindness, if action isn’t taken.

Can an eye doctor tell if you smoke cigarettes?

Certainly! The doctor can perform tests to detect the presence of nicotine in saliva, urine, and blood samples. Some nurses claim that it’s visible to them even without tests. Lung complaints, nicotine stains on fingernails, indentation and calluses on the fingers make it clear to them. Many smokers even have unusual wrinkles around the lips that are a result of excessive smoking. So, yes, doctors can surely tell that you smoke cigarettes, and they can also do tests to confirm.

How do you check for smoking damage?

Doctors measure the smoking damage to the eyes with the help of 6 tests. These are Spirometry, Chest X-Ray, CT scans. Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), Diabetes screenings and Vitamin D blood tests.

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Most of the damage done is visible on the skin, intestines, digestive tracts, lungs, and not to mention eyes, among many other parts of the body.

Does smoking affect your eye colour? Does smoking cause red eyes?

No, smoking cannot change your eye colour permanently. It may cause red eyes, however, as a sign of vision problems. These problems can occur due to smoking, like cataracts, glaucoma, retinopathy, conjunctivitis, Uveitis, etc. But, red eyes are temporary and will fade away when treated.

Why do my eyes water when I smoke?

The body has its own methods of getting rid of particles that are causing irritation in your eyes. The mechanism is that of increasing tear production to wash away the irritant with your tears. Smoke is one such allergen that can even cause allergic conjunctivitis. That’s why your eyes water when you smoke so that the body can keep your eyes healthy and remove the irritating smoke particles.

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Can your eyes turn yellow from smoking?

No, smoking cannot turn your eyes yellow. Yellow eyes are usually a cause of hepatitis, gallstones, cancer or too much alcohol. Liver infection, some medications, and anaemia are also among a few other diseases that can lead to yellow eyes.

Does eyesight improve after quitting smoking?

Yes, it does! You can experience a radical improvement in vision after quitting your habit of smoking, especially if you are an addicted smoker.

As stated earlier, a study has revealed the humongous difference in the eye pressure of smokers measured right after smoking and then after 12 hours of not smoking. The result was astounding. Just 12 hours of not smoking can create a big difference in the results. You might recall that increased eye pressure is a leading cause of blindness. That's because it raises the risk of sight-threatening diseases like glaucoma and retinopathy.

Quitting smoking also gets you rid of an irritant, smoke. This fact implies that you are very less likely to experience a blurry sight, red eyes, dry eyes, watery eyes, itchiness and other annoying issues that hamper your vision. Also, if you don’t smoke, the retina will get enough oxygen supplied to function correctly and show the beautiful scenes of life clearly.


Smoking can cause a lot of damage to your eyes that can lead to issues like redness, pain, itching, irritation, swelling, dryness, watery eyes, blurred vision and more. Eventually, smoking can also raise your chances of experiencing vision loss. To avoid all this, you must quit smoking as soon as possible.

But until you quit it properly, you will have to face the less critical issues we just talked about. Spending your time in front of screens like phones, laptops, and tablets can make these issues worse. To help you out, we recommend using digital blue protection lenses - X-blue lenses in your glasses. They will protect you from the harmful blue light emitted from digital devices all day long. Thus, saving you from increasing your chances of blurred vision, dry eyes, redness, and pain.

If you spend a lot of time outdoors or at a place with loads of artificial lighting that emits ultraviolet rays, we suggest you use transition lenses or uv400 sunglasses. Transition lenses are also known as photochromic lenses and have the capability to absorb UV rays. Doing this, they turn to a darker shade in accordance with the UV light present around. More the UV rays, the darker the tints are to protect your eyes against them. When you are indoors, these transition lenses stay clear to provide you clear vision.

UV400 sunglasses use advanced technology to shield your eyes against both UVA and UVB rays of the sun. These rays can increase the risk of cataracts, conjunctivitis, macular degeneration and similar eye problems.

For your eye’s health, Specscart makes sure to add a layer of anti-glare and anti-UV coating to all its products so that you don’t have to face the trouble of blurred vision, pain, and irritation caused without them. These coatings on the eyewear are absolutely free of cost along with scratch-resistant and impact-resistant properties. Our goal is to provide you with maximum protection with style for an improved vision and life.

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So, till you get successful in quitting your habit of smoking, get the appropriate pair of glasses or sunglasses and promise your eyes some care and love. Grab this opportunity! Choose from the assortment of styles and colours we have for you today!


How does smoking affect vision? ›

Eye Disease and Smoking:

Smoking has long been known to cause heart disease and lung cancer; however many people don't realize that smoking can lead to vision loss. Studies show smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy and Dry Eye Syndrome.

Why does smoking cause vision loss? ›

The harmful chemicals found in cigarettes can cause uveitis. This condition causes damage to the retina and iris (the colored part of your eye) and can lead to cataracts, glaucoma and retinal detachment— and permanent vision loss, if left untreated.

What are good questions to ask about smoking? ›

General Questions:

How do you feel about your smoking? What are your recent thoughts about quitting smoking? What do you know about smoking and your family's health? What do you think it would be like to stop smoking?

What are the visual benefits of quitting smoking? ›

Stopping smoking will improve your night vision and help preserve your overall vision by stopping the damage that smoking does to your eyes.

Can you see smoke in vision? ›

Blood vessels burst in the retina as the shrinking vitreous gel pulls on them. Eye floaters caused by this kind of minor hemorrhaging create little black dots in your field of vision, which can resemble smoke or a cloud of gnats.

Does smoking affect eye pressure? ›

Smoking Is Associated with Higher Intraocular Pressure Regardless of Glaucoma.

Can smoking cause color vision deficiency? ›

Adverse effects of smoking on the retina have been shown in many studies, causing color vision disturbances, visual field defects and even blindness.

Can smoking cause optic nerve damage? ›

People who smoke risk having optic nerve problems. The optic nerve connects the eye to the brain. Damage to this nerve can lead to blindness. Smoking can increase risk factors which can lead to glaucoma—a disease that affects the optic nerve.

How do you not get smoke in your eyes when smoking? ›

Glasses, sunglasses, and/or goggles, particularly ones that fit closely to your face, can help provide a barrier that slows smoky air streaming into your eyes.

What are 3 questions about smoking? ›

Answers to kids' tough smoking questions
  • Is it bad if someone around you is smoking? ...
  • How do the tar and smoke get stuck in your lungs? ...
  • Does smoking kill you? ...
  • Someone in my family smokes a lot. ...
  • How long does it take for your lungs to get better after you quit smoking? ...
  • Why do they make cigarettes?

What are five 5 facts about smoking? ›

7 Shocking Facts About The Risks Of Smoking
  • Tobacco is a killer.
  • It increases your chance of dying.
  • Smoking 1 cigarette can take 11 minutes off your life.
  • Smoking is not only a killer, but a serious cause of illness.
  • Smoking affects fertility.
  • It gives you bad breath.
  • Over 80% of people in the UK don't smoke.

What are 3 health facts about smoking? ›

Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking also increases risk for tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis.

Which problem is shown to increase with smoking? ›

Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to develop heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. Estimates show smoking increases the risk: For coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times. For stroke by 2 to 4 times.

What changes when you stop smoking? ›

Common symptoms include: cravings, restlessness, trouble concentrating or sleeping, irritability, anxiety, increases in appetite and weight gain. Many people find withdrawal symptoms disappear completely after two to four weeks. Quitline is available to help you quit, 8am – 8pm, Monday to Friday.

What causes smoking to be addictive? ›

Tobacco products are addictive because they contain nicotine. Nicotine keeps people using tobacco products, even when they want to stop.

What color light can you see smoke in? ›

The particles which make up the smoke scatter blue light much more than red or yellow: therefore we see the smoke as blue.

Can smoking cause eye fatigue? ›

One of the more benign conditions linked with smoking is dry eye, a condition marked by insufficient tear flow. The lack of lubrication can lead to stinging, burning or itching, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, eye fatigue, redness and more.

Does smoking cause eye floaters? ›

Cigarettes contain harmful chemicals which can harm your eyes and lead to the development of floaters. If you already have eye floaters, then smoking can worsen them. If you don't already have them, then this habit is a likely cause.

Does smoking make your eyes look tired? ›

However, this study lends support to the idea smoking also weakens structures around the eyes causing eyelid bags to become exposed, and additionally leads to the creation of excess eyelid skin, which promotes a tired, sad appearance. The first remedy to these aging related changes is, of course, to stop smoking.

Does quitting smoking make your eyes brighter? ›

Brighter Eyes

Researchers believe this is so because nicotine withdrawal symptoms disrupt sleep patterns. Lack of sleep, in turn, worsens dark circles under the eyes. Individuals who quit smoking get better sleep, and in turn have brighter eyes.

How does smoking affect your brain? ›

We found that smokers had a thinner cerebral cortex than non-smokers – in other words, smoking was destroying the grey matter in smokers. This is important because the cerebral cortex is a part of the brain that is crucial for thinking skills including memory and learning, so thicker is better.

How does smoking affect your ears? ›

Nicotine interferes with neurotransmitters in the auditory nerve, which are responsible for telling the brain which sound you are hearing. Nicotine can cause tinnitus, dizziness and vertigo. Smoking irritates the Eustachian tube and lining of the middle ear.

Does smoking cause eye inflammation? ›

Uveitis. Smoking has been shown to be a risk factor for developing uveitis, which is inflammation inside the eye. Uveitis can lead to eye redness, pain, and vision loss.

How long does nicotine stay in your system? ›

Generally, nicotine will leaves your blood within 1 to 3 days after you stop using tobacco, and cotinine will be gone after 1 to 10 days. Neither nicotine nor cotinine will be detectable in your urine after 3 to 4 days of stopping tobacco products.

What are signs of optic nerve damage? ›

Symptoms may include:
  • Loss of vision in one eye over an hour or a few hours.
  • Changes in the way the pupil reacts to bright light.
  • Loss of color vision.
  • Pain when you move the eye.

Does smoking affect dry eyes? ›

As a known eye irritant, tobacco smoke can contribute to dry eye syndrome. A Banskent University study found tobacco smoke breaks down the lipid layer of tear film, leading to dry eye symptoms. The effects often extend beyond the smoker to friends and loved ones via second-hand smoke.

What are 4 major effects of smoking? ›

These include cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung disease and diabetes. Smoking causes most lung cancers and can cause cancer almost anywhere on the body.

What are 4 facts about smoking? ›

Fast Facts and Fact Sheets
  • Smoking leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body.
  • Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States.
  • The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars each year on marketing cigarettes.

What are the three basic components of smoking addiction? ›

According to the American Lung Association, there is a "three-link chain" of physical, social and mental components to smoking addiction.

What are 10 short term effects of smoking? ›

Short-term effects of smoking include:
  • Bad breath.
  • Stained teeth and fingers.
  • Reduced sense of taste and smell.
  • Premature wrinkles.
  • Decreased lung function.
  • Decreased immune function.
Feb 17, 2023

What are the six main reasons why people smoke? ›

Why Do People Smoke Cigarettes?
  • Peer Pressure.
  • Parental Influence.
  • Media Influence.
  • Genetic Factors.
  • Stress Factors.
Aug 20, 2020

How does smoking affect your heart? ›

Smoking increases the formation of plaque in blood vessels. Coronary Heart Diseaseoccurs when arteries that carry blood to the heart muscle are narrowed by plaque or blocked by clots. Chemicals in cigarette smoke cause the blood to thicken and form clots inside veins and arteries.

How does smoking affect your mental health? ›

However, research has shown that smoking actually increases anxiety and tension. Nicotine creates an immediate sense of relaxation, so people smoke in the belief it reduces stress and anxiety. This feeling is temporary and soon gives way to withdrawal symptoms and increased cravings.

Why smoking can damage your health? ›

Smoking causes lung diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Tobacco smoke can trigger an asthma attack or make an attack worse. People who smoke are 12 to 13 times more likely to die from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease—which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis—than people who don't smoke.

Are there any healthy forms of smoking? ›

There is no safe smoking option — tobacco is always harmful. Light, low-tar and filtered cigarettes aren't any safer — people usually smoke them more deeply or smoke more of them. The only way to reduce harm is to quit smoking.

Does smoking affect your memory? ›

People who smoke are more likely to report memory problems and cognitive decline in midlife, a study from Ohio State University found. Study results also noted that former smokers who have quit face less likelihood of cognitive decline.

Does nicotine affect memory? ›

In healthy individuals, nicotine improves memory impairment caused by sleep deprivation by enhancing the phosphorylation of calmodulin‑dependent protein kinase II, an essential regulator of cell proliferation and synaptic plasticity.

Who is most affected by smoking? ›

Tobacco use is not an equal opportunity killer. Smoking disproportionately affects those most in need such as the poor, the homeless, racial minorities, LGBT persons and those suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders.

What happens 8 hours after quitting smoking? ›

8 hours: Your oxygen levels begin to return to normal, whilst nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in your blood decrease by over 50%. 48 hours: You should start to notice an improved sense of taste and smell.

What are the social aspects of smoking? ›

Social and personal impacts of smoking

Social stigma and isolation - some smokers feel that they are being looked down on. As smoking rates decline, many people do not want to be exposed to other peoples' smoke and are intolerant of smoking.

What happens after two weeks of not smoking? ›

Within two weeks of quitting smoking, you may start to notice you're not only breathing easier. You're also walking easier. This is thanks to improved circulation and oxygenation. Your lung function also increases as much as 30 percent about two weeks after stopping smoking, notes the University of Michigan.

How to overcome smoking addiction? ›

Here are 10 ways to help you resist the urge to smoke or use tobacco when a craving strikes.
  1. Try nicotine replacement therapy. Ask your health care provider about nicotine replacement therapy. ...
  2. Avoid triggers. ...
  3. Delay. ...
  4. Chew on it. ...
  5. Don't have 'just one' ...
  6. Get physical. ...
  7. Try relaxation techniques. ...
  8. Call for reinforcements.

What is the addiction of smoking called? ›

Nicotine dependence (also called tobacco addiction) involves physical and psychological factors that make it difficult to stop using tobacco, even if the person wants to quit. Nicotine releases a chemical called dopamine in the same regions of the brain as other addictive drugs.

What are the side effects of quitting smoking after 50 years old? ›

Although some people who give up smoking have no withdrawal symptoms, many people continue to have strong cravings for cigarettes. They also may feel grumpy, hungry, or tired. Some people have headaches, feel depressed, or have problems sleeping or concentrating. These symptoms fade over time.

Can quitting smoking cause blurred vision? ›

The less common signs and symptoms include: Dizziness. Blurred vision. Depression.

How can I make my eyes better after smoking? ›

The most common way to alleviate your red eyes is, of course, through various over-the-counter eye drops that are designed for eye allergies, redness and itchiness. Pretty much all variations contain tetryzoline (also known as tetrahydrozoline), which is an alpha agonist that causes dilated blood vessels to constrict.

How do you reverse eye damage from smoking? ›

Now, there's no way to reverse all of the damage that has been done to your eyes if you're a smoker. However, there is some good news. If you quit smoking, you can significantly reduce the risk to your eyes.

How long does it take to see changes when you stop smoking? ›

After one year your lungs will be healthier and breathing will be easier than if you'd kept smoking. Within two to five years your risk of heart disease will have dropped significantly (and will continue to do so over time).

How long after quitting smoking do you see benefits? ›

Time after quittingHealth benefits
24 hoursNicotine level in the blood drops to zero
Several daysCarbon monoxide level in the blood drops to level of someone who does not smoke
1 to 12 monthsCoughing and shortness of breath decrease
1 to 2 yearsRisk of heart attack drops sharply
6 more rows

Does smoking affect under eyes? ›

The nicotine in tobacco disrupts your natural sleep patterns, which can cause fluids to collect beneath your eyes. Smoking also produces substances that break down the elasticity of the skin and the collagen that helps keep skin firm.

Does smoking cause dry eyes? ›

As a known eye irritant, tobacco smoke can contribute to dry eye syndrome. A Banskent University study found tobacco smoke breaks down the lipid layer of tear film, leading to dry eye symptoms. The effects often extend beyond the smoker to friends and loved ones via second-hand smoke.


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